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Definition0 ‘’Legal language is the type of language used by lawyersand other legal professionals in the course of theirwork’’.0 First of all, Spoken language is just as indispensable tothe legal process. The legal implications of languagecontinue to extend far beyond the courtroom – tointeractions between police and suspects, toconversations between lawyers and their clients, etc.A little reflection is enough to notice how essentiallanguage is to the legal enterprise.
0 To know how this ‘special dialect’ came about andhow it differs from ‘ordinary English’, researchershave turned to the language of the law as a linguisticphenomenon in its own right.0 In fact, one of the first scholarly publications aboutlaw and language was David Mellinkoff’s monumentalwork, The Language of the Law, published in 1963.
ExampleControlling LawStatutory Law
New Columbia Code § 22-2401. Murder in the first degree - Purposeful killing;Whoever, being of sound memory and discretion, kills another purposely, either of deliberate andpremeditated malice or by means of poison...is guilty of murder in the first degree.New Columbia Code § 22-2403. Murder in the second degree.(a) Whoever with malice aforethought, except as provided in Sec. 22-2401, kills another,
is guilty ofmurder in the second degree.(b) In the District of Columbia, second degree murder is a lesser included offense of first
degreemurder, and under an indictment charging first degree murder, the defendant may be found guilty ofthe necessarily included offense of second degree murder.Punishment
New Columbia Code § 22-2404. Penalty for murder in first and second degrees.(a) A person convicted of murder in the first degree shall be sentenced to a minimum of 30 years fromthe date of the commencement of the sentence.(b) Whoever is guilty of murder in the second degree shall be sentenced to a period of incarceration ofnot more than life, except that the court may impose a prison sentence in excess of 40 years only inaccordance with § 24-203.1(b-2)._____________________
Developed by Georgetown University Law Center, D.C. Street Law Clinic page 5New Columbia Code § 22-2405. Penalty for manslaughter.
Whoever is guilty of manslaughter shallbe sentenced to a period of imprisonment not exceeding 30 years.
0 We can find a lot of legal terms in this example such asMurder in the first degree. When someone is accused ofmurder in first degree it means that he or she killsanother purposely, either of deliberate and premeditatedmalice or by means of poison.0 If we look closely we can see that there’s a special codewhen you refer to a specific law. You must use a key symbol,similar to a G key on music. For example, New ColumbiaCode § 22-2401.0 New Columbia Code § 22-2403. Murder in the seconddegree.0 (a) Whoever with malice aforethought, except as providedin Sec. 22-2401, kills another,
is guilty of murder in thesecond degree.
Technical Words0 Manslaughter: The unlawful killing of one human byanother without express or implied intent to do injury.0 Legislature: An officially elected or otherwise selectedbody of people vested with the responsibility andpower to make laws for a political unit, such as a stateor nation.0 Prosecution Attorney: A lawyer empowered toprosecute cases on behalf of a government and itspeople. Also called prosecution, prosecutor.
Example L1Comparece:Don RODRIGO SANCHEZ MONTENEGRO, Rut: Nº 13.465.194-6, Soltero, ingenierocivil, domiciliado en …….., mayor de edad, acredita su identidad con la cédulapersonal antes citada, que exhibe, declara pertenecerle y expone:PRIMERO: Don RODRIGO SANCHEZ MONTENEGRO, ya individualizado, es dueñode un inmueble ubicado en calle Los Nogales número cuatrocientos veinte,Comuna de San Esteban, Provincia de Los Andes, que corresponde al LOTESEIS, del conjunto Habitacional “Parque Residencial Jardín de Los Olivos”,individualizado en el plano protocolizado bajo el Nº 615 al final del Registro dePropiedad del año 2009 en el Conservador de Bienes Raíces de Los Andes, deuna superficie aproximada de trescientos treinta coma cero nueve metroscuadrados, y deslinda: al NORTE, con calle Los Olivos en veintiocho coma ceroun metros; al SUR, con Lote Cinco en veinte coma cuarenta y cinco metros, y ensiete coma cincuenta metros con calle Los Nogales; al ORIENTE, con Lote Siete,en diez coma ochenta y nueve metros; y al PONIENTE, con Avenida Alessandrien doce coma setenta y tres metros.- Lo adquirió por compra a la sociedadInmobiliaria e Inversiones Puerta del Sol Limitada, según escritura pública de23 de octubre del 2009, otorgada ante la Notario Público de Los Andes, MartaRivas Schulz, repertorio número 2352. El dominio a nombre de don RODRIGOSANCHEZ MONTENEGRO se encuentra inscrito a fojas 1608 vuelta número2372 en el Registro de Propiedad del año 2009 en el Conservador de BienesRaíces antes indicado. Rol de Avalúo del inmueble es el 17-165 de la Comunade San Esteban.
Technical Words0 Comparecer: wich means Submitted to an authority orother person.0 Rol de Avalúo: Number by which the SII identifies aproperty or real estate, which is unique to eachmunicipality .0 Notario Público: is an attorney whose involvement invarious legal acts have legal security assurance for allthose parties involved.
Common words used in Legal Language0 Indictment: A written statement charging a party with thecommission of a crime or other offense, drawn up by aprosecuting attorney and found and presented by a grandjury.0 Stuatory Law: Is written law set down by a legislature orlegislator.0 Incarceration: A person who is deprived of liberty and issent to jail.0 Sentenced: A court judgment, especially a judicial decisionof the punishment to be inflicted on one adjudged guilty0 Deslindes: Bookmark and distinguish the terms of a stateor possession.0 Fojas: Sheet of paper, especially of an official document.
General Summary0 The Language of the Law, published in 1963, nearlytwo decades before linguists would turn to legallanguage. Written by David Mellinkoff’s.0 It is full of 6 wordiness, redundancy, and specializedvocabulary and it often contains lengthy, complex, andunusual sentence structure.
Extract 1 summary0 This example is an extract of a mock trail titled:” UnitedStates vs Dominique Stephens”.a) Controlling laws, which are the laws of the state whichwill be relied upon in interpreting or judging disputesinvolving a contract, trust or other documents.b) Legal language is very short and clear. They don’t useconnectives too much, they prefer to use bullet pointswhen they have to specify something.c) When someone is accused of murder in first degree itmeans that he or she kills another purposely, either ofdeliberate and premeditated malice or by means ofpoison.
Extract L1 summary0 Similarity between code and language between theextracts. The extract corresponds to a deed, which is alegal document that is signed and delivered, especiallyone regarding the ownership of property or legalrights.
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